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remarkable developments. all along we thought it would be between the obama white house and house speaker john boehner and there was a logic behind that. because getting legislation out of the house is the trickier part of crafting any type of deal. but with the house saying look, we need the senate to do something, the last ditch effort is occurring in the senate right now. i spoke to staffers close to senator mcconnell that said there was optimism on their side yesterday, including from their boss, senator minority leader mitch mcconnell to get a deal. of course, any kind of word in reading from the members themselves will not come until tomorrow, but it's both chris and luke that said in the segment before mine, there is a sense that what might have been optimism yesterday does not exist today. of course, that is what always goes on when you have negotiations. we will see what happens tomorrow. tomorrow will be a very big day. >> the optimism seems to be waning. what does john boehner do if mitch mcconnell and harry reed come to an agreement? >> that is the question if something is don
in the news media repeated this white house talking point. >> president obama cutting short his vacation in hawaii, heading back now to washington. that will happen tonight to work on the fiscal cliff deal. >> the looming fiscal cliff is forcing president obama to cut short his christmas vacation. >> president obama is cutting short his christmas vacation. he is leaving hawaii tonight so that he can be back in washington when congress reconvenes tomorrow. >> laura: so we should believe that by leaving his island enclave that the president was making some big sacrifice for the country? i'm thinking washington, crossing the delaware on a bitter christmas night 1776 before going on to defeat the british in two major battles, that's sacrifice. i, for one, never understood how in good conscious any of these politicians would think about leaving town with so much riding on this cliff hanger? shouldn't they get their work done before they leave town for a break? that's what's expected for most working americans but then again washington politicians have rules of their own. people whose salaries
have breaking news from the white house where president obama is talking about the fiscal cliff after a meeting with congressional leaders. let's listen in. >> also ask lobbyist americans to pay a little more. above all, protect our middle class and everyone who is striving to get into the middle class. i want to still get this down. the right thing to do for our families, our businesses, and for our entire economy. but, the hour for immediate action is here. it's now. we're now at the point where, in just four days, every american's tax rates are scheduled to go up by law every american's paycheck will get considerably smaller. and that would be the wrong thing to do. for the economy, would be -- it would be bad for middle-class families and for businesses that depend on family spending. fortunately, congress can prevent it from happening if they act right now. i just had a good and constructive discussion at the white house with senate and house leadership about how to prevent this tax hike on the middle class. and i am optimistic we may still be able to reach an agreement that can
than $100 billion in required spending cuts would also kick in if there's no deal. at the white house, major garrett says the obama administration is getting ready for those across the board cuts. major, what exactly is the white house doing to prepare? >> reporter: good morning, norah and anthony. the obama administration is in the final stages of delivering layoff notices it will deliver to federal agencies across the government, this to comply with across the board spending cuts 6% to 7% that are required in the so-called fiscal cliff. agencies will decide which employees to lay off and when. as part of these preparations, the administration also has notices it will soon deliver to delay or cancel federal government contracts. as for negotiations themselves it is a bit of a team effort here at the white house. president obama is dealing directly and spoke frequently sunday with the senate majority leader harry reid while vice president joe biden spoke frequently sunday with republican leader in the senate mitch mcconnell. mcconnell and biden get along much
. >> the american people have a right to be very upset with this congress. >> president obama has invited nancy pelosi, john boehner, mitch mcconnell, and harry reid to the white house this afternoon for a fiscal cliff summit. >> here we are five days from the new year, and we might finally start talking. >> today's white house meeting might be the last chance to come to an agreement. that's because it takes time for a bill to work its way through both chamber of commerce. >> i don't know time wise how it can happen now. >> under senate rules, the only way a bill could make its way through the procedural hurdles in time is if every senator agrees not to. they'll have 24 hours. outside the beltway, carlino will be watching. >> everyone is kind of in a wait-and-see and fingers-crossed per expect tichb right now. >> since 1930 this is only the fifth time congress has worked after christmas. and today's summit is the first time president obama has met face to face with congressional leaders since mid-november. duarte, tick tock. >> thank you. >>> general schwarzkopf is being remembered this morning
in the fiscal cliff talks. president obama is holding a summit at the white house today with congressional leaders and members of the house have to be back to work by 6:30 sunday night leaving them with just over 4 hours to come to a conclusion. steep cuts and tax hikes impacting from everything from your paycheck to the defense budget could take effect. >>> norman schwarzkopf has died. the retired general died from complications of pneumonia. he was best nope for leading international forces in iraq in 19916789 he was 78. >>> former president george h. w. bush remains in intensive care at a texas hospital this morning. his chief of staff says bush is getting excellent medical care but expects nobody the hospital for a while. he is battling bronchitis and other complications from it. the 88-year-old was admitted to the hospital more than a month ago. >>> three people were killed when a tractor-trailer that was stopped in traffic was rear ended by a pickup. all of the victims were in the pickup. this happened about 7:00 last night and traffic was still moving slowly in the area late last ni
at the white house. president obama and top congressional leaders were trying to come up with ways to avoid the tax hikes and spending cuts set to kick in next week. keith russell with more on the budget talks that ended about 45 minutes away. >> jim, the meeting started at 3:10 and ended at 4:15. the four congressional leaders left without speaking to the media. with $600 billion in tax hikes set to take effect new year's day. senior advisers said the president was set to make a small offer with the full support of reid and pelosi. nbc news has learned that a previous offered made by the president, the one that involved a tax increase for only those earning more than $400 is off the table. advisers say that was part of a bigger proposal that speaker boehner did not accept. it looks like the current proposal goes back to raising taxes on those who make more than $250,000. the proposal known as plan b didn't work. it will remain to be seen if the smaller plan will. either way the countdown to the if you year could be very costly. >> i'm hopeful that a deal will avoid the worst parts of a fis
. a bleak tone from some in congress sunday on reaching a deal with the white house to avoid the fiscal cliff. president obama and congress are on christmas vacation. it will be thursday before talks resume to try and prevent automatic tax hikes and spending cuts from taking effect january first. andrew spencer has the latest. analysts say many shoppers haven't been in the holiday spirit when it comes to spending money. the four-day black friday weekend that started on thanksgiving was strong. sales rose 2-point-7 percent. but analysts says sales fell 4-point-3 percent for the week ending december 15th. and last week they forecasted holiday spending to decrease another 2-point- 5 percent. previous expectations were for a 3-point-3 percent increase in spending. the saint anthony foundation needs help to reach its goal of collecting 5-hundred hams during the 25th annual curbside donation drive. according to the foundation, they collected a hundred hams. that's just 20-percent of their goal. the foundation hoped to get another 400 hams sunday and today. if you would like to donate a ham yo
president obama before he left from his vacation that he was optimistic. logistically the white house will tell you it's possible. when you listen to what you're hearing some of these congressional leaders say, there's a lot of posturing laying blame to the other side if we do go over the cliff. take a listen. >> republicans are not about to write a blank check for anything senate democrats put forward because we find ourselves at the edge of the cliff. >> we are here in washington working while the members of the house of representatives are out watching movies, watching their kids play soccer, basketball, doing all kinds of things. they should be here. >> now, house speaker john boehner is saying the senate needs to just take up a house pass bill that has already passed the house that would extend rates for all americans to either take it up in whole rf to amend it. the senate would take up that bill, amend it. if we do go over the cliff there is this possibility and all sides are preparing for this that there would be a lot of pressure in the days following from the markets, from c
the start of the new year, it's put up or shut up time for congressional leaders. president obama addressed reporters from the white house this evening. roughly an hour after meeting with leaders of the house and senate. >> i still want to get this done. it's the right thing to do for our families, for our businesses, and for our entire economy. but the hour for immediate action is here. it is now. >> senate leaders harry reid and mitch mcconnell were back at the capitol in no time. mcconnell gathered his members to inform them of the work that needs to be done. >> we had a good meeting down at the white house. we are engaged in discussions, the majority leader and myself and the white house, in the hopes that we can come forward, as early as sunday, and have a recommendation, that i can make to my conference and the majority leader can make to his conference, so we'll be working hard to try to see if we can get there in the next 24 hours. so i'm hopeful and optimistic. >> i'm going to do everything that i can. i'm confident senator mcconnell will do the same. but everybody, this is -- what
outside at the white house, where lawmakers will sit down with president obama today before a rare weekend session. >> later, while the redskins get ready for dallas, we'll sit down with author mike richmond for a closer look at what some call the greatest rivalry in the nfl. good morning, i'm tony perkins. >> i'm wisdom martin in for allison. >> mostly cloudy to start the day. in the 30s. no travel concerns today. no weather to speak of today. less wind than yesterday, so that will be nice. the next snow event, and it will be a small sized one, small to medium sized one, will be early tomorrow. during the day saturday. >> okay. >> that's the first thing you need to know. 37 now in washington. 15 in detroit. it's cold. much of the area at or below freezing. 31 in new york city. 29 in boston. let's look at the satellite radar together. a lot of clouds in the forecast. you can see into west virginia and all the clouds out there. partly to mostly cloudy this afternoon. might get a little sunshine. should feel a little better than yesterday, because winds won't be blowing like yesterday. highs
been he was the front runner to be president obama's choice as secretary of defense. no announcement. the silence is deafening from the white house. but the opposition already mounting. a lot of criticism coming from both republicans and democrats about some of hagel's positions while he served in the senate. i have to tell you over the last several years he's been known as somewhat of an independent maverick. concerns about his position on iran, was he strong enough about iran being a terrorist state, about voting for sanctions against iran. but a lot of it folksing on his his position with israel. a remark he made back in 2007 about the "jewish lobby in washington." a lot of pro-israeli groups voting their concerns. i want to play you just now a bit of a commercial already running on television opposing hag hagel, even though he's not nominated. >> president obama says all options are on the table. hagel says military action is not a feasible option. president obama for secretary of defense chuck hagel is not a responsible option. >> but if the white house was thinking of nominatin
that is most antagonistic toward president obama. i think he got 30% + of white men to vote for him. he was down in those categories, but white men are the heart and soul of it. you say he is the most divisive. i think we live in very divisive times in terms of our politics, in terms of our media spending it is highly polarized here in the congress. people who do not want to compromise see compromise as a dirty word and are worried they are threatened by the other side spending the whole idea of politics having to see good in the other side and were there is possibility of common ground has gone away. i do not think you are wrong in saying that president obama's era is one of the most divisive in american history and i question whether or not he has a divisive personality. i think his approval ratings in terms of -- he is close to 50%. personally, there are lots of americans including white men who like him, but they do not like his policy. the economic policies in particular tend to be highly divisive in america at this moment. host: part of his speech talked about his hopes going forw
they have that "right" ntken away. >> reporter: the white house said after the newtown shooting atic president obama supports a ban on assault weapons proposed by california democratic senator dianne feinstein. getting it through congress quickly is highly unlikely, but the mere mention of a ban is enough to send sales soaring. and it's not just guns. brownell's, the world's largest firearm supplier, said it morently sold more than three- and-a-half years worth of a.r.- ag magazines in three days. even before newtown, sales of guns and ammunition this year were surging. chb.i. background checks of intential gun buyers were up 31% 20 november 2012 over 2011. in a report issued prior to newtown, the market research rack ibis world, which tracks the gun industry, found gun venthusiasts are working dermselves into a frenzy over what another four years under the obama administration may hold for gun laws." an instructor at nova firearms re falls church, virginia, where hey nearly sold out of a.r.-15s and high-capacity magazines after newtown. so, ironically, this shooting is a.spiring mor
a solution. give us one, john. >> meanwhile, president obama is spending christmas in hawaii where he and the first lady attended the holiday memorial service for the late u.s. senator from daniel inouye. >> white house correspondent kristen welker. kristen, obviously they always say the white house travels with the president wherever he is. that's where the white house is. the president, though, is enjoying vacation, but still continuing to keep tabs on the fiscal cliff negotiations, correct? >> he is. white house officials describe this as a working vacation. i think there have been maybe a few conversations at the staff level about the fiscal cliff, but the reality is, thomas, the negotiations have largely stalled. you remember president obama on friday urging lawmakers to take this time off to really cool off, come back later this week with a appreciate perspective. i think you're going to see the hard work, the real negotiations resume when lawmakers go back into session after the christmas holiday. now, last week it seemed as though president obama, house speaker john boehner we
are working with the white house. plus, what it all means for your paycheck as higher payroll taxes are only days away unless congress acts. one step forward, two steps back. president obama and republican lawmakers have been dancing that waltz for six weeks now, but the music stops when the countdown clock at the bottom of your screen runs out. so where do fiscal cliff talks stand at this critical hour? nbc's kristen welker is on the north lawn and luke russert are both following developments this saturday afternoon. kristen, i'll start with you. any indication at this particular point as to what's happening behind closed doors this afternoon? >> reporter: well, i think most of the action is going on in the hill where staffers with majority leader reid and minority leader mcconnell are trying to conjure up some last-minute deal and this plan would not be the grand bargain that john boehner started initially working on. that plan would have dealt with tax reform and deficit reduction and this will be a much more scaled back version that will deal with the issue of taxes and that is still the
haul up his white flag of surrender and roll over every time barack obama wants something. we have a huge problem. it's not our taxes. we're spending way too much money. as your previous guest was just talking about, we're hitting the debt ceiling, 16 trillion, they want to increase it to 18 trillion. by 2022, it will be 25 trillion the at some point this all comes crashing down. >> we already had the debt ceiling issue during the summer of 2011 being taken to the brink of having our credit ratings. based on the fact that neither side could politically come together. that was all in an effort to try to discredit the president so that they could get him out come november of 2012. now, that doesn't happen. the president has a wide mandate to be back in the hoff. why does the tea party not get that? >> you know obama ran on the fact that he would raise taxes. >>> more democrats were votes in. tea party members lost seats in this election. >> liberals lost seats, too. that's what happens every election. if there had been a great groundswell of effort that we have to raise taxes, we hav
-stakes meeting at the white house. at the table, president obama and congressional leaders. the goal is to reach an agreement. but the roots of this current crisis can be traced back to the previous administration. cnn's chief business correspondent has a look at how we got here. >> now we have passed a bold package of tax relief for america's families and businesses. >> reporter: it starts more than a decade ago when president bush initiated a series of tax cuts for all americans. but it's a deal with the devil. the cuts which are politically expedient expire in ten years time. >> both houses of congress have passed a package of tax relief that will protect the middle class. >> reporter: when it came time for the cuts to expire, the u.s. is emerging from the worst e recession from the great depression. so president obama agreed to extend the tax cuts for two more years in exchange for congress extending federal emergency unemployment benefits. those cuts are expensive. if they are extending by 2020, the bush era tax cuts will be responsible for more than half the total national debt. democrats
. peter doocy has more. >> president obama will departed hawaii for washington, d.c. late tonight leaving his wife michelle and daughters sasha and malia behind. the latest guidance we have from white house is that the president will be back here in the nation's capital where it is presently 36 degrees sometime tomorrow morning. united states government is set to go off the fiscal cliff on new year's day. at this point we don't know if the president plans to return at the to hawaii if the tax hikes are avoided well in advance of the of the new year. he's there to talk to himself. john boehner will come back at any time. his office told us it would be sometime after christmas. so he could be back as soon as today. the upper chamber in commerce is coming back tomorrow to pick up where they left off on the important domestic surveillance bisa. they will meet for a vote on the $50.6 billion bill for hurricane sandy relief. they will be back in the same zip code as far as we know there are no specific time or places on the books for an inperson meaning between the two. something else that rema
. the dow dropped 24-1/2. the s&p 500 slipped 7. nasdaq fell 22.5. president obama has been in hawaii for some holiday r&r. the republican lawmakers are likely hoping that means he is rested and ready make a deal on the fiscal cliff. however, chief white house correspondent ed henry tells us that washington may have to set with a backup plan to the backup plan. >> christmas tradition for president obama. he and first lady michelle obama saying thanks at the marine corps base hawaii. >> so many of you make sacrifices day in and day out on behalf of the freedom and behalf of the security. >> now the president is giving up some vacation time rushing back to washington aboard air force one late tonight to deal with the looming fiscal cliff. after that red eye, the president will no doubt need coffee. starbucks decided to get political in the washington, d.c., shops, by having employees write come together on cups. ceo howard schultz writing in open letter, "my hope is the simple message will serve as holiday reminder from starbuck of the spirit that bridgeed differences and we have the po
leader mitch mcconnell following their white house meeting with president obama. here it is. >> everyone knows we've been to the white house. we've had a constructive meeting. we certainly hope that something will positive will come from that. >> i share the view of the majority leader. we had a good meeting at the white house. we are engaged in discussions, the majority leader and myself and the white house in the hopes that we can come forward as early as sunday and have a recommendation that i can make to my conference and the majority leader can make to his conference. >> arthel: so is a fiscal deal more likely now than it was before congress left for christmas break? let's have a meeting of the minds. outreach director for freedom works, author of "backlash" and fox news contributor. and michael, former senior communications advisor to john kerry's presidential campaign and ceo of vent squared communications. long intros for both of you hard work people. i'm going with you first on this, danene. president obama says he's modestly optimistic. i ask you if there is going to be a deal
and indianapolis are in the 30s. >>> to our other top story this morning. president obama is cutting his vacation short and heading back to the white house. >> he's hoping to make a last-ditch compromise with lawmakers to try to avoid that fiscal cliff. reena ninan is traveling with the president. she joins us, now, from honolulu, hawaii. reena, has there been any movement to try to reach a compromise here? >> reporter: it doesn't seem that either side -- the president or the white house has reached out to either side over this christmas break. no movement moving forward on these fiscal cliff talks. the focus will shift to the senate. they have to try to craft something together that will pass both the house and the senate. so, the burden is now on them to try to strike some sort of a deal. that's because on friday before congress left for christmas, the house was unable to get any sort of a deal passed through. >> and, reena, give us a play-by-play. what can we expect this week? where will the white house be focusing their efforts? >> reporter: right. as i mentioned, capitol hill, now, taking th
conference. >> at yesterday's white house meeting, president obama did not offer negotiators anything new. he just tried to sell them on the same plan he outlined last friday, being called plan c. since the president's plan a and speaker boehner's plan b both failed to gain traction. plan c would extend middle class tax rates and we're told the senate wants to tweak exactly who counts as being in the middle class. maybe even raising the income threshold and the white house is apparently willing to go as high as 4 or $500,000 a year. plan c would expand unemployment benefits for the 2 million people set to lose them at the end of this year. it would include a small amount of spending cuts but would not touch entitlements like medicare and not deal with the debt limit right now. >> i am modestly optimistic that an agreement can be achieved. nobody is going to get 100% of what they want. but let's make sure that middle class families and the american economy and in fact the world economy are aren't adversely affected because people can't do their jobs. >> and today lawmakers are in staff level m
obama is in the christmas spirit. the white house just released this picture of the first lady answering calls from children who called norad santa tracker control center to ask about old saint nick's big trip around the globe. mrs. obama watched the progress along with children nationwide last night. with the obama family home for the holidays in hawaii we couldn't help but wish everybody a hawaiian merry christmas h morning. ♪ here we know christmas is green and bright ♪ ♪ sunshines by day and all the stars at night ♪ >> you know what's next, don't you? i this movie. >>> brianna is in hawaii right now traveling with the obama family. so merry christmas, brianna. what are the obamas doing today, i wonder. >> to you as well, carol. there's nothing on the president's public schedule so we don't know exactly what they're doing but presumably they're doing what most -- many americans will be doing on this christmas. still very early, of course, here on a oahu. it's about 4:00 a.m. local time. they will be presumably, waking up in the home that they're renting about 45 minutes from w
are in control. they have the white house too with president obama. how are they reacting to this? >> on the capitol hill the reaction has been less than enthusiastic especially from democrats. here is more. >> well, i think is he so extreme and so tone deaf that he actually helps the cause of us passing sensible gun legislation in the congress. we have 130,000 elementary and secondary schools in this country. if had you two officers in each that would cost $25 billion. where is that money going to come from. california democratic senator dianne feinstein who is expected to introduce gun control legislation in january called the nra idea a quote distraction. jamie? job and family jail-time what about republicans. >> one senator suggests that the federal government should not be the ones helping to set up armed guards in schools program. take lafn. >> i would not want a national earth to say you have to do this at schools. i think local education decisions are best made at the local level. >> senator who says is he a quote strong supporter of second amendment rights maintains that
that the white house communication director tweeting this -- president obama spoke to all forecongressional leaders yesterday before departing for washington, d.c. we'll continue to watch the discussions happening in the beltway. and as the president makes his way back to washington, d.c. >>> some recent development have put a twist on that. overnight we heard that brian chats will be the new senator replacing longtime senator daniel inouye. >>> tim scott cause picked to replace retiring senator demint. >>> and one that still needs to be decided t. massachusetts will have a special especs to replace john kerry. actor ben affleck is no longer in the mix. he took his name out of the running there. >>> a busy day, given it's a thursday as we watched the senate get back to work and hopefully cobble something together. brian schatz will be sworn in today. he tweeted just had a nice conversation brief chat with the president this morning. was schatz the best choice? >> it seems like it. he's very family to hawaiians, and most importantly he's a democrat. clearly in the context of senator unoway's
, congressional leaders heading to the white house this afternoon for key talks with president obama. nbc's capitol hill correspondent kelly o'donnell has more. kelly, good morning. >> reporter: good morning, willie. the top two democrats and republicans from the house and senate will sit down with the president middle of the afternoon. but we should tell you that behind the scenes the most senior staffers who have been given the task of negotiating have continued their conversations looking for ways to try to bring a deal together. while the elected officials know they need to be more visible. >> mr. speaker, we ought to be here working, addressing these challenges. >> reporter: under pressure to show up, even if there is no deal to consider, congress will work this holiday weekend. the deadline is so close, outgoing members have already packed up their offices and need to move out while the harsh tone is going nowhere. >> the american people, i don't think understand the house of representatives is operating without the house of representatives. it's being operated with a dictatorship o
this morning. paula? >> good morning to you. the president is enjoying time away from the white house. but president obama is cutting short his christmas vacation. he is leaving hawaii tonight, so that he can be back in washington when congress reconvenes tomorrow. and they can try once again to negotiate a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff by the end of the year. just about every american family will see their taxes increase on january 1 unless a deal is reached. but lawmakers are expressing very little optimism so far. meantime, the president spent christmas in hawaii, visiting a local marine base, thanking more than 100 troops and their families for their service. >>> and this morning, the taliban is claiming responsibility for a suicide bombing at a major u.s. base in eastern afghanistan. three afghans, including a guard at camp chatman were killed in today's explosion. >>> and back here at home, former major league baseball player andruw jones is free on bond this morning. he was arrested near atlanta early christmas morning on a battery charge, after police responded to a call abou
. president obama has been trying to turn the heat on congress this weekend, applying new pressure on this interview with david gregory on "meet the press." nbc's kristen welker has more on that angle from the white house. good evening. >> reporter: kate you good evening. the president has repeatedly blamed republicans for the fiscal cliff stalemate and now, he is doubling down on that criticism. on "meet the press," president obama continued his public campaign to pressure congress. >> if congress doesn't act, then everybody's taxes go up. and for the average family that could mean a loss of $2,000 in income and the whole economy could slow down at a time went economy's actually starting to pick up. >> reporter: he, again, called on lawmakers to strike a deal or hold a vote on his plan, which would raise tax rates on wealthy americans, a major sticking point for republicans. >> the way they're behaving is that their only priority is making sure that tax breaks for the wealthiest americans are protected. that seems to be their only overriding, unifying theme. >> reporter: after the
for help tracking down the killer. >>> you may have noticed construction happening in the area of the white house. millions of dollars are being spent to put on the inauguration of president obama's second term january 21st. >> you might be surprised to find out how much things are costing. fox 5's matt ackland took a look at the numbers. >> reporter: work has been underway for weeks to build a viewing stand in front of the john a. wilson building. it's a great spot. the mayor and council members along with invited guests will sit in this heated room as the parade and president pass by. here's a shot from four years ago. but when we asked d.c.'s department of general services how much it cost to build, we were told $342,000. $340,000 for one day >> what? >> that's a waste of money. >> reporter: we're told that money is paid by the district but is reimbursed by the federal government. the district government also oversees the building of the viewing stand and media riser near the white house. a d.c. general services spokesperson told us the cost for the project at the white house and wilso
president obama back. he is in route to the white house today after celebrating christmas in hawaii with his family. he is returning early from his holiday to address to andrews air issues of the fiscal cliff. speaker boehner said that the senate must act first. senators are in session right now. there is the plane landing. this is live coverage on c-span. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> and we have been watching the president's return to join based andrews. andrew to the white house now after celebrating -- he is on his way to the white house doctor celebrating christmas in hawaii with his family. he is traveling with the latest appointed senator to replace daniel inouye. he will be sworn in today in the senate. the president has returned early from his christmas vacation to work on avoiding the fiscal cliff, a series of tax increases and spending cuts set to take effect on january 1st. last night, the president called senator mcconnell and other leaders to discuss the need for the senate to act. the senator
the structure of the book, it occurred to me that actually part of what i do is look for the white ancestors and her family tree. as well, the story of so many generations of people who emerged from slavery. and i thought to myself, we actually know where the story ends. with michele obama, you know the first african-american first lady in the white house. but the question is, where did it begin? it is a little unorthodox. i didn't know really when i started doing and how well it would work. i thought that i would learn as to 700 and i also thought that because there was so much silence over the generations the peeling back of the layers in hearing what little bits and pieces people knew and what they did not know. but that would give you a sense of the reverberations that slavery had over time. but you would be kind of drawn to this. >> i think silence is one of the most consistent themes in the book. the pain of this task. discussing the way in which he told the story perhaps as your own way of using the reader i
governor kneel abercrombie appointed his lieutenant governor, brian schatz to fill the seat. a white house official says he's actually flying to d.c. with president obama. abercrombie wa widely expected to appoint a congresswoman to take over before he died. inouye named her as his preferred successor. >>> supreme court justice sonia sotomayor refusing to block the contraceptives mandate in president obama's health care law. let me explain this. two companies, hobby lobby arts and crafts stoerds and mardell christian bookstores argue that requiring their group's health care plans to cover contraception violates their religious beliefs. sotomayor who hears emergency appeals said the companies didn't qualify for an injunction while they challenged the requirement in court. she did not rule on the merits of the company's religious-based claims just yet. >>> we've told you about those long delays at the airports thanks to this monumental winter storm. well, in dallas get a load of this. cnn affiliate wfaa reports that one american airlines flight sat stranded at the gate for nearly five hours.
and the white house are in close consultation. he's been a tremendous ally of president obama's in the senate, for better or worse. each side has its own view of that. right now i think you're likely to see senator reed move a version of the bill that's acceptable to president obama or attempt to. it's not clear whether mitch mcconnell or other senators in the republican party will allow that to move forward. if something passes in the senate, i think it's likely that the house will follow suit. i think that takes the pressure off john boehner a little bit in terms of bringing something to the floor that his minions don't love. >> take care, drew. >>> two firefighters shot and wounded on christmas eve are improving and starting physical therapy. joseph hoffstetter and the other firefighter were shot after being called to a fire. we are starting to hear the 911 calls. >> multiple firemen down. multiple firemen shot. i am shot. i think it was an assault rifle. >> volunteers from other areas have stepped in to help the webster fire department. >> we're all family, yep, brothers and sisters. it w
. savannah. >> thank you. from the winter storm to the political storm over the fiscal cliff, president obama is returning to washington this morning to try and work out a deal. with just five days left now, is there enough time? nbc's white house correspondent, peter alexander, good morning to you. >> reporter: good morning to you and most importantly happy birthday to you. the president hopes to bring back sunshine from hawaii, 38 degrees here and 72 in hallelujhonolulu. today, aides on both sides say no new negotiations are scheduled and no evidence of any post christmas compromise. >> reporter: cutting his christmas vacation short, president obama left hawaii overnight for washington trying to orchestrate a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff deadline just in the nick of time. if not, the consequences will be severe. more than a half trillion dollars in automatic tax hikes and spending cuts, not that lawmakers are necessarily feeling the urgency. congress is at least officially in session today but house members, most still at home haven't even been called back to the capitol. aides on both si
that president obama will likely return to washington, d.c. at this point it seems more a matter of when and not really matter of if. and then right now the plan that the white house is trying to push forward is to deal with the tax hikes for those earning $250,000 or less. it appears those spending cuts that are the other part of the fiscal cliff will likely set in. and then what happens there will maybe be something that democrats and republicans try to deal with in the coming weeks, in the coming months. that means even come say the end of the year here or if we go over the cliff and there's some quick resolution, it's not for everything and we'll be dealing with a lot of these problems for some time, carol. >> what's the president doing in hawaii? >> reporter: the president has been getting in some r and r. he arrived saturday morning. he played golf with some of his buddies. he wept outer with his wife. yesterday he attended the ceremony for senator daniel inn way. and then he went for a hike in the afternoon with his daughters. this may be his one chance for a vacation and you may
or with his upcoming appearance, has that really given president obama the leverage in this debate? >> i certainly think it has helped because what this president has been good at i think throughout his tenure through the white house and definitely through the campaign is making the issues that he is fighting for and that he has been talking about relevant to everyday americans. and he has been asking for those same americans to make their voices heard with their congressional leaders. and as we all know, there is no one more important to congressional leaders than their own constituents back home. and so when the president asked constituents to let congressional leaders know what it's going to mean to them if their taxes rise on january 1, then leaders are going to hear from their constituents back home. i think that's a very powerful piece of pressure that washington actually does respond it. so i think he has been very adepartment at that. i think it is -- adept at that. i think it is something that helped him through his first term and will help through his second term, as well. >> c
out in the world though it is hard to find in washington these days. president obama spending holidays in beautiful hawaii where reports now surfaced where he is looking to strike a smaller fiscal deal that would extend tax cuts for the middle class but not tackling any spending cuts. chief white house correspondent ed henry is live in honolulu with more. ed, for the first time, people like joe lieberman are saying i really think we'll go over the cliff. what do you hear? >> reporter: it's a real possibility, you're right. we're a week out. people on both sides have been talking this thing to death. it might need a christmas miracle at this point to avoid going off the cliff. the president scaled back plan basically would extend unemmoment benefits for two million people who will lose them a week after christmas if there is no deal. he also wants to extend tax cuts for 98% of americans. you heard him talk about that again and again. that level of $250,000 or less. the republicans have not afreed to that on the hill obviously. when you talk to folks like senator lindsey graham, they say
are forced to respond. >> reporter: that is one of the things president obama is thinking about i'm sure this christmas eve. he's on vacation in hawaii. they arrived in hon saturday and he is expected to continue to get the updates of course on the fiscal talks. white house correspondent ed henry lives in hopb lieu hraoufplt i assume thahonolulu. i assume that is in between beach visits. >> reporter: the president does have a lot on his plate. he's trying to get vacation time in as you say. he knows he has the fiscal cliff waiting for him there back in washington. he attended a memorial service in hawaii for the late senator daniel inouye with the first lady. he is knowing that is what is happening back in washington still matters a great deal. and republicans on some of the sunday talk shows, like senator john barrasso of wyoming was on "fox news sunday" charging that the president really does want the nation to go off the cliff because then tax less go up. take a listen. >> when i listen to the president i think the president is eager to go over the cliff for political purposes. i thin
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